Our 5 steps to creating a personalisation roadmap includes:

  1. Gathering business insights
  2. Demonstrating the power of Sitecore personalisation
  3. Personalisation discovery
  4. Discovery consolidation
  5. Creating the personalisation roadmap

Personalisation overview

There are two types of personalisation:

  • Implicit: This is based on visitor behaviour. For example, when a visitor is looking at various products on the website, they are implying an interest. This drives the website engine to display relevant content like 'You may also be interested in...'
  • Explicit: The user experience is based on the visitor proving explicit information like a geographical location, that drives the personalisation processes

The Sitecore Experience Platform is a powerful system that uses various implicit and explicit approaches to Sitecore personalisation:

  • Rules-based: Content is displayed when rules and conditions are met. For example, a goal being triggered
  • Adaptive: Uses visitor profiles and pattern card matching to dynamically adapt the content
  • Historical:  Content is delivered based on a visitor’s past behaviour on the website
  • Journey-based: As the visitor goes through a user journey personalised content is displayed when actions are triggered

Displaying contextual content is important for businesses. Every website visitor is different. Delivering relevant content improves the overall experience and helps achieve business objectives. From driving more leads and increasing sales to improving customer engagement and delivering competitive advantage.

The challenges

  • Where and how to get started: Reviewing/identifying digital goals is a good starting point. It allows your business to review the website objectives at depth
  • Persona and user journey definitions: A website review will reveal who's visiting your website and why. This would be the basis of establishing personas and identifying the journeys visitors take through the website
  • Internal resources: Reviewing internal resources establishes your business’s readiness to undertake a strategy
  • Budget and ROI: Earmarking a budget and expected ROI are initially difficult to gauge until user journeys, scenarios etc. are established

To meet these challenges, start our 5 steps to create a personalisation roadmap.

Step 1: Gather business insights

For any digital transformation project to be successful a full understanding of your business’s internal digital landscape is needed.

A website review to clarify business objectives and define digital goals focuses efforts and helps understand how to achieve the best results.

Identifying the business and digital overview helps align the roadmap with business and marketing goals.

 

Business overview

  • Business challenges/strategies
  • Business and marketing objectives
  • Marketing & campaign activity
  • Walk the sales process/sales funnel
  • Review business metrics
  • What does success look like?

 

   

Digital overview

  • Website purpose
  • Marketing goals
  • Digital goals
  • Persona & user journeys
  • Website visitor tracking/analytics
  • External data sources/integrations

 

 

Step 2: Demonstrate the power of Sitecore personalisation

When you’ve determined what you want to achieve, the next step is to demonstrate how it's used and how it can benefit the business.

Ensure that those within the business, from main stakeholders to team members, understand how digital goals can be achieved by showing relevant content to website visitors..

Talk to your Sitecore partner for a a simple demonstration using for example, Sitecore’s demo site, or even your own Sitecore website. This will highlight the power of Sitecore. It could also be a great catalyst for ideas.

 

Sitecore demo site

Sitecore’s demo site

Step 3: Personalisation discovery

The aim of these discovery sessions is to generate as many ideas as possible, and to achieve a collective understanding of your website and what it stands for. We've carried out many sessions like these which have helped our team build successful websites for our clients.

These are open sessions where all business and marketing related ideas are welcome. It’s an opportunity for your marketing and content teams to identify and discuss pain points, visitor types, visitor intent, conversion points and the key user journeys tailored content will be applied to.

For example, an objective to increase seminar attendance is discussed. This evolves into a tactic to promote the seminar on the home page to visitors that haven't registered. A conversion goal is assigned to the registration page to complete the journey.

Codehouse discovery

Placing ideas on the wall on Post-It notes is great for visibility

Step 4: Discovery consolidation

The next step is to consolidate the outcome of the discovery session in step 3.

An organised approach is to put all ideas on a spreadsheet. This makes it easier to manage and plan the roadmap. The spreadsheet should be based around the following criteria:

  • Topic
  • Idea
  • Category / type
  • Marketing objective
  • User journey stage
  • Maturity stage

Step 5: Creating the personalisation roadmap

It’s easy to want to do everything at once. But the prudent approach is to keep it as simple as possible at the start. Establish your foundation.

This is highlighted in the Codehouse personalisation maturity curve. It’s a step-by-step process that allows marketers to see personalisation in its entirety, and what steps are required to climb the maturity curve.

For example, determining user journeys, setting up rules, understanding visitor behaviour, establishing a measurement framework and determining objectives and KPIs.

Just as important is starting the process of education and knowledge. This involves sharing within your organisation, getting buy-in, agreement, and approval from stakeholders. Only then can the implementation begin.

 

Personalisation matuirty curve

The Codehouse personalisation maturity curve ©

Start with easy, or 'Quick Wins'. These can prove the value of contextual content and allow your marketing team to learn more and make informed decisions about future optimisation.

Over time, the roadmap will come to fruition and the results will be visible. For example, a visitor clicked on a link in an email campaign and social media campaign, browsed the site and completed a form. Sitecore analytics shows who clicked on the link, from which channel, what the journey was, its engagement value and which patterns were matched. Sitecore also has an Active Personalisation Report that shows how effective pages are.

This information provides valuable insights for future optimisation that could improve the bottom line.

Need help with personalisation?

We’ve been working with Sitecore, the leading digital experience management software with personalisation at its core, for over 15 years.

We’ve designed and built websites on Sitecore across a variety of industries including financial services, retail, leisure and travel, education, health, pharmaceutical and more.

Our digital experience consultants have helped these customers leverage Sitecore personalisation to drive improved customer experiences and increases in conversions and revenue.

If you're interested in personalisation and thinking about Sitecore for your website, or if you already have a Sitecore website and you’re having trouble setting up and using its personalisation tools, or you want to know where to go next, then get in touch.